Hanoian Do Minh Quan, a student of Foreign Trade University, has won the fifth Literature Age 20 award for his story entitled Nguoi Ngu Thue (Hired Sleeper).
Quan is the youngest and the first northern region-based writer to win the contest launched by the Writers’ Association based in HCM City, Tuoi Tre newspaper and the Youth Publishing House.
Hired Sleeper is a fantasy that tells the story of a man who works as a hired sleeper.
“The idea came to me by chance when one of my friends said to me that he was feeling very tired and sleepy. At that time, I was free. He wished that I could sleep for him and transmit my energy to him,” said Quan.
According to writer Nguyen Dong Thuc, one of the jury members for the competition, the story is an amazing discovery.
“Among all the entries, I read Hired Sleeper first because of its title. I thought it was about sex. But when I read the story, I found that it is very contemporary and beyond my imagination,” said Thuc.
“The story convinced four of the five jury members to award it the first prize.”
Another jury member and associate professor Nguyen Thanh Thi said: “With its unique style of similes and vivid expressions, Hired Sleeper reminds readers of the fantasy novel Momo by Michael Ende.”
The second prize was awarded to established writer Nguyen Ngoc Thuan for his work entitled Co Ban La Buon (Exactly Sad), while the third prize was shared by Le Minh Nhut for Gia Toc An Dat (Family Eats Soil) and Minh Moon for Hat Hoa Binh (Peaceful Seed).
Five consolation prizes were also awarded to notable works.